11 April 1776
|Died||11 February 1847
|Alma mater||University of Glasgow
University of Edinburgh
|Occupation||Writer to the Signet, editor|
Macvey Napier (born Napier Macvey) FRSE FRS WS (11 April 1776, Kirkintilloch – 11 February 1847, Edinburgh) was a Scottish solicitor, legal scholar, and an editor of the Encyclopædia Britannica. He was Professor of Conveyancing at Edinburgh University.
He studied law first at Glasgow University then Edinburgh University before befriending the publisher Archibald Constable in 1798. Constable later asked Napier to write for the Edinburgh Review with articles beginning from 1805 and became an editor in 1814. He in turn recruited several eminent authorities to write in the sixth edition and its supplement, as well as in the 7th edition of the Britannica. He was editor of the Review from 1829.
From 1805 to 1837 he acted as Librarian to the Signet Library, the law library for Edinburgh solicitors.
In 1829 he replaced Francis Jeffrey as principal editor of The Edinburgh Review.
In the 1830s he is listed as living and operating from 39 Castle Street in Edinburgh's New Town. The property is a complex 3 storey townhouse within an elegant four storey and attic block. It had the very notable claim to fame as previously having been the home of Sir Walter Scott.
Napier married Catharine Skene (d.1828) in 1797 and they had seven sons and three daughters. One son, Macvey, edited his father's papers for publication; Alexander became vicar of Holkham, Norfolk; John died in the West Indies; David Skene was a merchant in Singapore and gave George Coleman his first important commission to build a large Palladian residence in 1826; and William went to Singapore as a lawyer in 1833.
- Napier, Macvey (October 1837). "Review of The Tribute". Edinburgh Review. 66: 103–110.
- Napier, Macvey (1838). Memoir of Sir John Leslie in 7th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.
- Napier, Macvey (1853). Lord Bacon and Sir Walter Raleigh. Macmillan and co.
- Selections from the correspondence of the late Macvey Napier, esq.; edited by his son, Mackey Napier. 1879.
- Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Monuments and monumental inscriptions in Scotland: The Grampian Society, 1871
- Lists of Royal Society Fellows 1660-2007 Archived 22 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Selections from the correspondence of the late Macvey Napier, ed. M. Napier (1879)
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